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Highly Pathogenic AI found in Tennessee

Highly Pathogenic AI found in Tennessee Commercial Chicken Breeder Flock and Low Pathogenic found in Wisconsin Commercial Turkey Flock

On March 5, United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a broiler breeder flock in Tennessee. The yet untyped virus appears to be of wild bird origin and not related to 2015 outbreak. The USDA has confirmed this flock of 73,500 has been depopulated. While there have been several cases of HPAI globally in the past few months, this is the first confirmed case in commercial poultry in the United States this year. This farm is located within the Mississippi flyway – the same flyway that extends north into Ontario.
On March 6, USDA reported a low pathogenic AI infected commercial turkey flock of 84,000 in Wisconsin. The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection are responding to this event.
Globally, the HPAI disease incidents have been devastating to the individual affected farms and had a significant impact on the global poultry industry. With the spring weather quickly approaching, resulting in warmer temperatures and wild bird migrations, the threat of re-emergence of HPAI in Ontario is real.
FBCC would like to remind farmers to rigorously follow their daily biosecurity protocols, as well as consider appropriate additional biosecurity measures to help prevent disease occurrence and spread in the province. Properly implemented biosecurity is the poultry industry’s’ first-line of defense against infectious agents. Biosecurity protocols should be well thought-out, stringently implemented and continuously followed. 

The following is a list of biosecurity measures for Ontario poultry farms:

  • Each farmer, employee and every person entering all poultry barns must put on clean footwear, protective clothing and follow all biosecurity protocols on every entry into barns.
  • Minimize visits to other poultry production sites and avoid any co-mingling of birds or contact with outside/wild birds.
  • Avoid exchanging equipment with other poultry production sites.
  • Ensure all vehicles/farm equipment that access the barn vicinity are properly washed and disinfected and that the laneway is restricted/secured.
  • Ensure adequate training of farm and company personnel in biosecurity and disease prevention.
  • Ensure adequate control of wild birds and rodents.
  • Ensure adequate measures to prevent wild bird and rodent entry to poultry barns and related facilities.
  • Have a pressure washer or a hose available to wash tires and equipment, and make this available to all service vehicles.
  • If possible, “heat treat” the barn/litter ahead of chick or poult placement (to 30°C for at least 3 days).
Poultry farmers should immediately contact their veterinarian and board if their birds show any signs of illness. For specific information on any one of these biosecurity measures, please see the How to Protect Your Flock From Avian Influenza resource, attached to this notice, or contact your board inspector for more information / clarification.

How to Protect Your Flock from Avian Influenza Resource - CLICK HERE to access.

Visit the Feather Board Command Centre’s website at for more information.